Ross: Initiatives will be the stars of November ballot

Jan 29, 2024, 8:15 AM | Updated: 12:03 pm

"I Voted" stickers are ready to be distributed to each person who filled out a ballot. (AP Photo/Ro...

"I Voted" stickers are ready to be distributed to each person who filled out a ballot. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The November ballot will have a lot more than a presidential race and an open race for Governor.

According to The Seattle Times, there will be six initiatives whose campaigns were mostly paid for by one donor: Brian Heywood, a libertarian on a mission to fix what he calls the “stupid things” the state government does.

He has assumed Tim Eyman’s role, except he was wealthy enough to pay for the signature gatherers with his own money.

Among those initiatives are some major tax measures: repealing the new capital gains tax, prohibiting any form of income tax, repealing the fees for carbon emissions, and letting anyone opt out of the state’s long-term care plan.

Another Dave Ross commentary: South Africa, Israel cry genocide, but who is right?

It’s almost like a referendum on the Jay Inslee era.

Mr. Heywood, of course, is being criticized for spending $6.2 million to push his agenda, but like Tim Eyman, he can’t single-handedly pass anything. That will be up to the legislature, and if they punt, it’ll be up to us.

My problem with it is that I remember the original $30 tabs initiative, which seemed like a big victory – until you find out years later that your roads aren’t being fixed, and the ferries are patched with Gorilla tape.

And that’s my only objection to the initiative process. It’s the ultimate form of democracy, but it pretends there are no consequences.

Being a rugged individualist, I’m all for rounding up a volunteer pavement posse to fill some of the crevasses in I-5, some of the exposed re-bar on I-90, to swing a hammer at our Jack-In-The Box expansion joints, but that’s one initiative no one’s proposed yet.

And on the carbon fees – I’m a little surprised a libertarian would be against those because, as I’ve said before, if I have to pay to dump my organic kitchen waste, why would I expect to dump my organic car waste into the air for free? That’s what conservatives used to call a free lunch. Now, they want to make it an entitlement.

And on state-sponsored long-term care insurance– we all get old, with any luck. Eventually, we’ll need someone to take care of us. And yes, it’s our personal responsibility to save up for that.

More from Dave: Boeing has become a punchline

But it turns out not everybody does. So, if we’re going to let these people fend for themselves without any money, they’ll need tiny homes, old RVs, or tents somewhere.

That’s why I’m hoping that as these initiative campaigns develop, you’ll ask about what happens after they pass, just as you do with your household budget. You don’t suddenly stop paying your power bill without discussing the consequences or at least buying a few more flashlights.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

MyNorthwest News

Image: At left, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 9...

MyNorthwest Staff

Top Washington state officials react to Trump rally shootings

Washington state officials react to the shooting at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania. The comments come from X social media.

6 hours ago

Auburn shooting...

Bill Kaczaraba

Auburn late-night shooting leaves one teenage boy dead

The Auburn community was shaken by a deadly shooting late Friday night. Police received reports of gunfire in the 500 Block of A Street SE.

6 hours ago

Fitness guru Richard Simmons died Saturday at age 76. (AP)...


TV’s silly fitness guru Richard Simmons dies at 76

Richard Simmons, TV's court jester of physical fitness who built an empire by urging the overweight to exercise and eat better, has died.

9 hours ago

Photo: KIRO Newsradio is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its "newsradio" format with a special ...

MyNorthwest Staff

KIRO celebrates 50th anniversary of ‘newsradio’ format with special alumni broadcast

KIRO Newsradio is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its "newsradio" format with a special broadcast featuring several prominent alumni.

11 hours ago

Photo: Police swarm Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood after shooting on July 3....

James Lynch

Police identify 2 girls who were with alleged Alderwood Mall shooter

There are new developments in last week's deadly shooting at Alderwood Mall. Jayda Woods-Johnson, 13, was killed.

12 hours ago

Renton bus crash...

Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Eight injured after bus crashes into Renton ravine

A bus driver suffered a medical emergency, crashing the bus into a ravine in Renton, injuring eight people on board.

18 hours ago

Ross: Initiatives will be the stars of November ballot